By Sarath Wijesinghe –
Fall of “Sinhala Rule” and the Consequences
2358 years of the Sri Lankan Kings rule fell on 2nd March 1815 due to the coup of the Chief tens headed by Ehalapola who signed the disputed historic and decisive Convention to hand over the country and powers of governance away to the colonial power despite the silent protest of the common man. Robert Brownrigg and Ehalapola were the first signatures of the agreement/convention in which the main clause amongst others was to give foremost position to Buddhism and to protect “Sasana” Buddha, Dhamma, and Sanga. Before the ink got dried of the agreement, British violated the Convention by letting down the chief tens who expected to be rulers, and contravention of the contents of the agreement which is still in force under international law akin to Indo-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987! Sri Lanka became a British Colony until independence was gained on 4th February 1948 with the destruction of the culture, imbalance of the economy and agriculture the colonial power overrun us due to naval power and power of the gun then. Nothing more could have been expected from “sea pyrites” looking for wealth from the colonies for the King and the British Empire with intention and agenda to propagate the Christianity in which King is bound to protect and foster. Disunity of the King Chief tens and “Sanga” caused the disaster that could have averted by unity toughed by “Lichcihevi” way of practice in Buddhism they practiced. Jaffna came under the Sinhala King. Had we survived like Thailand we world have been a unique /great Nation.
“Sri Lanka was transformed to a Federal State by Indo-Sri Lanka Accord giving power to the periphery”
It is our duty by the nation not to hide the truth and not to be shy to speak the truth for the future generation. 13th Amendment of the constitution certified on 14th November 1987 was promulgated in pursuance to the Indo Sri Lanka Accord passed by the Parliament while the country was in flames and the Members of Parliament whose undated letters of resignation was in possession of JRJ brought to the Parliament to vote with armed protections from the hotel they were imprisoned. Legally there should have been a referendum on 13th amendment as it amounted to be a change of the “basic structure” of Unitary to Federal. Changing basic structure is prohibited according to the Indian full bench judgement of “Kesawananda Barati Vs State of Kerala” In a full Bench decision it was decided that even with 100% agreed decision, the basic features embodied in the Indian constitution cannot be changed which are entrenched which as a principle applied to Sri Lanka. In India while there are five entrenched feathers, in Sri Lanka the foremost position to Buddhism and the Unitary Nature in Sri Lanka cannot be changed even with a referendum as this principle is entrenched. Indian constitution is mainly a federal constitution with distribution of powers among coordinated bodies, unlike in a Unitary State where “one single unit exist with all powers top bottom”. Indian system was imported to Sri Lanka forcibly as the 13th amendment under “duress” thereby Sri Lanka was transformed to be a “Federal State” with units of devolution fortunately tied together in a string/thread of powerful presidential powers. The most powerful main feathers of the Sri Lankan federal constitution are the police and land powers vested under the 13th amendment which has not been implemented by successive Presidents (including CBK) after JRJ knowing the drastic/disastrous consequences leading to separation. Most important are the lists reserved for the central government, Provincial Government and concurrent lists which leads to
complications such as sharing of water, Education, Archaeology, law and order leads to complications controversies and blood sheds again which has to be avoided. India has 19 states and a Union City Delhi with full population of 1.32 billion with 199 million in Uttar Pradesh alone where a federal system is a necessity due to enormity of size and other logistic complications, unlike the Sri Lankan situation where the population is only 21.2 million which is easy to control and manage with a “Mega Computer” (like NHS System in UK a Unitary State erroneously stated as Federal in IRSC)) with access to one corner to other physically in few hours. India is massive and it needs a federal structure such as USA Canada and largely populated massive countries where plans and helicopters are used for transport. Future amendments to the constitution is an impossibility, as it requires 2/3 majority of both houses and the approval of the powerful provincials in which the Governor is appointed by the Chief Minister. Second Chamber consists of majority Provincial council members who are as corrupt and dirty as the main legislators mad over luxury vehicles perks and bribe. If the IRCS is implemented complete separation is imminent and definite in no time.
Architects of Indian and USA Constitutions and applicability
The architect of the Indian Constitution in “Dr Ambedkar” who pioneered the process which is still in power with only 101 amendments when George Washington and Benjamin Franklin too forward the p2reparation of the constitution by “James Medsion” the chief architect who pioneered for the people which is in force with only 33 amendments. They took great pain in the drafting of the great living documents amended from time to time according the needs of the day but never wanted to explore new constitutions which are complicated and leads to unnecessary divisions and blood shed they have averted permanently with a static and stable constitution mechanism. Change of constitutions are seldom takes place in the world unless newly born states mainly due avoid unnecessary complications and divisions. Both great nations changed and adopted themselves with new challenges with amendments which are most practical and sensible. Then what/why is our mighty hurry to change the constitution to commit suicide? Is it Geneva, NGOs Regime Change forces diaspora or any other evil anti Sri Lankan forces? Therefore we do not want to get into further tragedies and let us live with the known devil!
Constitution is a set of fundamental principles constituting the supreme law of a state from which all other laws derive. India has the longest constitution with 444 articles and 118 amendments whereas Monaco has the shortest with 77 articles. Sri Lankan Constitution of 1978 consist of 179 Articles and nineteen amendments with the Article one (1) declaring that it is a free sovereign independent democratic republic of Sri Lanka which is declared as a Unitary state (art2) transformed to be a federal state by the 13th amendment by changing the “basic structure” and outlook of the constitution without constitutional due process. The Unicameral Soulbury Constitution came to force on 4th February 1948 was abolished and the new Republican Constitution was introduced in 1972 with a peaceful constitutional revolution and a constitutional Assembly which was replaced by the current 1978 “JRJ constitution” which is a mixture of Executive Presidency and Parliamentary model running smoothly with some concerns on the Executive presidency and centralized powers now in a compromised situation out of necessity to keep the provinces together tied in a strong string” without separating from the Central Government with the power of Presidential powers.
Armed struggles of disappointed youth as a result of denial of franchise
Fourth Amendment of 1982 extended the life of the Parliament until 4th August 1989 subject to a referendum brought disastrous effects which led to two JVP Insurrections and emergence of LTTE due to denial of democratic institutions and periodic elections the citizens were used to. Two (bloody) JVP instructions cost the nation lives of over 60,000 youth and destruction of property and retardation of the economic growth by decades. LTTE struggle continued for thirty years with deaths from the forces and those took to arms until “MR” was able to win the unwinnable war against the most ruthless terror organizations in the world. It is a sorry state that we have not learnt from the history and mistakes made by blocking the democratic process
(by JRJ) of exercising franchise periodically. Hurriedly passed Ad Hoc 19th amendment blocks elections for 4 and half years and the postponement of elections continually nearly three years takes country towards a volcano in brewing under with no signs of any elections until the end of the period of the governance. In the IRSC fatal mistakes are made without learning from previous mistakes by forcing the Government in power for 4 1⁄2 years ( S11) and PM and Government not to be removed for 2 1⁄2 years (S12 are repeating the same fatal mistakes undermining the power of franchise and ability to change governance. To the credit of MR he continuous elections 29 successive occasions with victory though lost at Presidential on a suicidal tour of politics. Like the loss of Winston Churchill after winning the world war “MR” lost the Presidential election to his former Health Minister MS who suddenly crossed over to “SWAN” led by controversial “Shalill”, was backed be India, West, local and international NGOs, and the Tamil diaspora with the majority of minority votes in the north and west. MR’s cronies, relations, wrong advisers contributed to his down fall.
Who wants the new constitution in the making?
Country is not in a good shape and in financial and political crisis admitted by all blamed the previous regime the SLFP and JO are parties to. There are open and close differences and infighting in the unholy union of SLFP and UNP ( leads to dictatorial one party system against democracy with weak and racist opposition confined to N/E) traditional enemies for decades joined together for perks,( ex 3.1 billion for vehicles alone to all ) privileges, facilities, power and fear of being run over by charismatic MR who is still popular but continuously attacked by the enemies who ousted him from power and blocked to contest by 19th amendment especially enacted aiming at him and block him and the family clan claiming to block further family rule. Joint Geneva resolution is a sell-out of the nation promising a new constitution and giving away the forces responsible for freeing the nation from terror engulfed for thirty years mainly beneficial to the citizens of North and East lived in fear terror groups. Opposition leader is the leader of TNA demanding a de facto federal state supported by JVP (one time nationalistic party opposed vigorously to Indo Sri Lanka Accord of 1987) some minority parties NGO’s/INGO’s, and brainwashed part of international community backed by the diaspora still active on internal/international issues. Common man is sandwiched with many issues including cost of living, un/under employment and various threats and constitution is least important to them.
It is time for the Nation to be united today by shedding all differences as Sri Lankans for a better day for the future generation. The “Dead Silence” of the Professionals (including OPA and BASL), other sectors are sad, alarming, and worrying when the unpatriotic and undemocratic foolish politicians take unilateral decisions against all norms of good governance rule of law and democratic norms and practices. The statements by clergy, intellectuals, writers, artists, and working class, against the proposed “IRSC” are very encouraging (despite the press conferences of INGO’s and NGO’s depending on dollars) and in the right direction. Time has come to the professional’s educated young and the citizens to take over reigns of the governance and oppose proposed draconian and dangerous constitutional changes which will lead to blood shed again proposed by dirty politicians miserably failed and destroyed our loving and beautiful Granary of the East to be great again.